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This week - 8-14 October 2011.SATURDAY
WONDERWALLS AND PIPE DREAMS
Competitive plumbers and brickies showed off their abilities at the final day of WorldSkills 2011, held in London Docklands. The UK came fifth in the medal table, their best ever result at the biennial event.
The incoming chief inspector of schools, Michael Wilshaw, issued a message to chill headteachers in challenging areas. All should be getting 80 per cent of pupils through the five A*-C GCSE barrier, he said.
CREATIONISTS FAIL TO EVOLVE
The Government published a list of 55 free schools due to open next September. Conservative darling Katherine Birbalsingh (pictured) made the grade, but a bid by a creationist group in Norwich was turned down.
THE MONEY PROGRAMME
Schools had their final chance to contribute to a consultation on how best to overhaul funding. Ministers want to spread cash more fairly, but will be expecting grumbles whatever the outcome.
Stars of the silver screen descended on the capital for the first day of the 55th BFI London Film Festival. This year's opener was the premiere of 360, starring Rachel Weisz, Jude Law and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Ofqual, the qualifications watchdog, kick-started a debate on exam standards that will inform its work over the next two years. Prepare for lots of coverage bemoaning the decline of the A-level.
CofE's ROLE CELEBRATED
The archbishop of Canterbury celebrates 200 years of the Church of England running state schools with a special sermon at Westminster Abbey. Pupils and teachers will attend the service of thanksgiving.
Next Week 15-21 October 2011
A TALE OF TWO SCRUMS
It is deadline day for any bright sparks hoping to go to Oxbridge next year. Alternatively, forget about university and watch Wales battle France for a place in this year's Rugby World Cup final.
Today is the last day of the world Scrabble championships, the most competitive prize in the English language version of the famous game. It's triple-word war.
Pupils have the chance to discuss university with tutors and undergraduates at an event in Manchester organised by Ucas. It will focus on performing arts, music, dance, drama and media production courses.
BARNES STORMER PREDICTED
The recipient of the Man Booker Prize for fiction is announced, with Julian Barnes's The Sense of Ending favourite with the bookies. The winner gets a #163;50,000 prize and a guaranteed spike in sales.
PRIVATE EYE GOES PUBLIC
An exhibition celebrating the 50th birthday of Private Eye magazine opens at the Victoria and Albert museum, including a selection of its most famous covers and cartoons from Ralph Steadman and Gerald Scarfe.
The Department for Education's consultation on plans to reform the teachers' pension scheme ends. A climbdown is likely to be needed to avoid mass industrial action this term.
EARLY CHRISTMAS SPIRITS?
Something to look forward to: it's the last day before half-term! Make some plans for your well-deserved week off and then steel yourselves for the run-in to Christmas.